When nature speaks : evoking connectedness with nature in children through role-play in outdoor programming
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Research was conducted to determine if role-play, when utilized within environmental education programs, could strengthen feelings of connection to nature in children. Six classes participated in the study through taking part in a field trip at the Devonian Botanic Garden; a department of the University of Alberta located in Edmonton, Alberta. Classes participated in one of two programs, which differed in pedagogical strategies: one used a delivery method of direct instruction and the other guided embodiment. Two data collection techniques were used: pre and post program surveys, as well art development - both techniques designed to measure the effect of the pedagogical strategies on the participant's feelings of connectedness to nature. Findings indicated that students who participated in the embodiment program showed inclination to value their environment more intrinsically, where students participating in the direct instruction program showed tendency to view the environment more anthropocentrically.
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